An umpiring decision grabbed everyone’s attention during the 31st match of the ongoing Big Bash League (2021-22) between Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers.
The incident took place on the 5th ball of the 14th over of Scorchers’ innings when umpire Bruce Oxenford bizarrely reversed his decision after initially giving the batter out caught behind. It all happened when Stars bowler Xavier Crone went for a bumper to Ashton Turner.
Turner tried to whack the ball by pulling the short-pitched delivery, but he missed out, and the white leather hit his helmet, which the keeper caught. The Stars’ players appealed, and the umpire, Oxenford, initially raised a finger. However, he quickly realized that the ball struck the batters’ helmet, and therefore Oxenford reversed his decision.
“No, sorry, not out. The deflection’s gone that way, and it has come off the lid. Not out,” Oxenford was heard saying moments after he raised his finger.
Here is the video:
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 2, 2022
Notably, after playing the shot, Turner was heard yelling out ‘helmet’, claiming that the ball didn’t hit his bat. Former England skipper Michael Vaughan, who was on-air, suggested that Turner’s words might have influenced Oxenford to reverse the decision.
“I reckon he was (influenced). I reckon Turner’s shouted ‘helmet, helmet’, and he’s just changed his mind. Again, it’s fine if it’s the right decision,” said Vaughan on Fox Cricket.
Although, legendary Aussie cricketer Adam Gilchrist opined that it seemed as if the umpire had changed his decision after batters’ gesture, which will open up the doors for other batsmen to do the same if they find themselves in a similar situation.
“It’s courageous umpiring to go, ‘I’ve made a mistake there, so I’m happy to overturn it’ — and they do have the power to do that, so that’s fine. But the only issue is the fact it seems like he’s responded to a player gesturing, now that opens up the opportunity should another player be in a similar situation by hitting their pad when they think they’ve edged it,” said Gilchrist.